UK homeowners are becoming more involved in choosing their radiators. Instead of simply going with the first suggestion from a professional, they’re shopping around and exploring the new range of designer radiators. Craig Bonnyman has a few tips to make sure style-focused consumers don’t miss out on their actual needs.
With years of experience in central heating, Bonnyman advises homeowners not to overlook the technical aspects of their purchases. Getting the correct radiator isn’t primarily about getting the right look. It’s about ensuring adequate heating and maintaining the overall condition of the heating system.
The technical aspects need to come first. Craig Bonnyman tells consumers, “Once you’re armed with that information, you can then start looking at radiators with a much clearer idea of exactly what is you’re after.”
Homeowners are looking for the right “size” radiator, with size in this context referring to the heat output, typically measured in BTU or watts. To get the right size, you need to know how quickly heat is lost from the room in question. The radiator must be able to produce the same amount of heat to ensure the room is able to be heated adequately.
A room’s heat loss includes both the heat lost through surfaces and heat lost through circulating air. Heat loss through surfaces can be determined relatively easily, based on surface area and temperature difference, along with some reference values depending on the construction materials.
This can be a bit much for folks to get their heads around, so homeowners can rely on online heat requirement calculators. These tools give decent estimates based on a few critical pieces of information, like the room size, the number of exterior walls, wall type, and what’s above and below the room. Consumers can find the right size radiator in just a few minutes with a reasonable degree of confidence.
Craig Bonnyman further explains that before upgrading new radiators is the perfect time to take a closer look at the heating system’s overall condition. There could be issues for systems 15 years or older that should take precedence over installing new radiators.
If inadequate heating was the issue that first spurred shopping for new radiators, a buildup of sludge in the pipes could be the actual cause. Bonnyman explains that sludge builds up in the pipework over the years, inhibiting circulation and even presenting a risk of leaks.
Craig Bonnyman advises homeowners that “It would be folly to install lovely brand new designer radiators onto an aging system that already has circulation issues,” explaining that they will have to be removed and reinstalled for the inevitable system maintenance.
With both the central heating systems’ health and room heating requirements determined, consumers can then turn their eyes towards the different styles of designer radiators available. Manufacturers and retailers will have most styles available in nearly any size and will be happy to work with homeowners to find a radiator that fits their needs.
While Craig Bonnyman has seen the rise of designer radiators in the central heating industry from the inside, he maintains his emphasis on fundamentals over fashion. There’s no question that today, consumers have more stylish options than ever before. Still, they can’t let that blind them to making the right choices for these essential appliances.